Gro Harlem Brundtland said in her keynote speech at the IPY 2012 conference in Montreal that not enough has been done for the last 20 years in decision making regarding environmental issues. This years marks the 20 year anniversary of the Rio conference, where the all important Rio declaration was signed and ratified.
Dr. Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway and a special envoy of climate change to the United Nations, encourages for more cooperative research in polar sciences.
"We also must ensure an easy access of data from the International Polar Year to the benefit of all researchers and communities," she said before a crowd of over 2000 people in the Palais de Congrés in Montreal.
"We must also develop and maintain the important research stations, where both all states and participants should work together," she said, again encouraging cooperation.
Talking about the progress after the Rio summit in 1992, she said that although some progress has been made, it is not enough. "Much has happened in 20 yeas, but not enough. Now, global warming is rapidly increasing, as well as the whorl population," she said.
Dr. Brundtlant also mentioned that in a report she delivered last January, it was projected that the world demand for resources world grow fast, especially for food, water and energy.
"We need to identify what is important, the world needs to put scent on top for sustainability. The scientific research must point the way to the best decision making," she said.
Coming up this summer is the Rio+20 summit, where she sees reason for optimism. "We need bold decision making in the Rio summit."
She also identified polar research as more important then ever. "What is happening in the polar regions is more important for the whole world then we thought. Now we know its value," she said.